Many salespeople still regard objection handling as vital. If only they had better answers to objections their results would quickly improve. This emphasis is misplaced. It doesn’t matter how brilliantly an objection is answered, it has still created a gap between buyer and seller at the end of the presentation.
The emphasis should be on pre-handling. Obvious objections which almost always come up must be handled early in the presentation.
What top salespeople do
The majority of objections are not inherent to the buyer, but are created by the behaviour of the seller.
Common sense suggests that for every hour of face to face selling time, two people selling the same products or services in a comparable market place would receive about the same number of objections. Research, however, indicates that this is not the case. In some sales teams one seller frequently had to handle five times as many objections as another, ie inept selling advice creates objections.
For example, consider an IT systems sales person making a six monthly follow-up call to a customer.
Seller: “Are you completely satisfied with the system?”
Buyer: “Not entirely the server is a little slow.”
Seller: (Seeing the opportunity to sell a faster server) “Then what you need is our new high speed server. It’s 35% faster than the one you are currently using.”
Buyer: “Yes, but it’s not worth paying all that extra just for an increase in speed.”
The PRICE objection.
What has happened is the seller has offered his solution, a faster server, too soon. Many salespeople make this error, they offer their solutions too early.
Salespeople who hold back on offering their solutions, until they have built a strong desire, not only receive fewer objections – they close more sales.
Sell the problem first
So to avoid the price objection show the prospect what it will save/make in pound terms FIRST. Build your prospect’s judgement of value BEFORE offering your solution. On LDL sales courses we train participants to first ‘sell the problem’ then ‘sell the solution’.
Poor selling creates objections – the solution is not to become better at handling those objections, but to improve the selling process so they do not occur. Ie put the emphasis on pre-handling.
Having discussed the importance of pre-handling, it is nevertheless inevitable that objections are going to crop up from time to time and salespeople must know how to handle them.
The danger point comes when the demand for training in objection handling, gives it more prominence than objection prevention.